11 July 2005
...And coming up hard on the heels of autobarbery, we have probable autophagy. Which is of course traditional, which means of course unsurprising; and also unsurprising, I am sure, is this news which I am now in a position to break to you, shock horror: that Elastoplast waterproof plasters are quite emphatically not waterproof.
Thing is, as I said, I did all this cooking for friends, in the house of friends (I tried to type “a friends’ house”, but my fingers were having none of it; which is odd, because “a friend’s house” is not a problem, but as soon as there’s more than one friend in the house, the grammar seems to fall apart. It can be a blue house, meaning a house which is blue; or a blues house, meaning a house where a traditional form of American music is often played [for the joy of it, I just looked up the blues in my dictionary-of-choice, and sometimes you can just tell they’ve had trouble; their definition begins “a slow sad song...” and ends “...(sometimes neither slow nor sad)”]; but it can’t be a friends’ house, meaning a house which belongs to more than one friend); but anyway, I did all this cooking round at Gill & Martyn’s, and of course I took a lot of my batterie de cuisine with me, because I don’t like working with other people’s gear, it’s never right. Their pans are always the wrong size and the wrong weight, and most particularly, of course, their knives are never sharp. So I took my own, and most particularly my own two favourite knives.
And because Gill & Martyn are busy people and I am lackadaisical, we haven’t sorted out my retrieving all this stuff yet; so when I came to cook my own dinner tonight, none of it was home. This is not a problem, as I have more pans and knives than a sensible man would ever shake a stick at, but it did mean I was finely slicing garlic with a knife I’ve never actually used before. It was very sharp, which meant that when it came to it, it went through the flesh and nail of my thumb with never a moment’s hesitation. Which is hence the autophagy, because I haven’t found the pieces, they’re definitely not on the chopping board so I am fairly sure they went in the dinner. Which is fine, I don’t mind eating me, well-seasoned and well-marinated as I am; and for a moment there I almost felt pleased, indeed, as I had only this morning decided to restock with plasters, and how fortuitous is that? I knew I had ’em, and I knew where they were. After I had eventually controlled the bleeding - and there was a lot of that - I wangled on a plaster, and very carefully went for a waterproof one, on account of I knew I wanted a bath tonight. And I have had a bath; and yup, I went into it beplastered and came out naked, denuded, bereft. I am scandalised, and half-inclined to write a letter of fury. There’s probably some small print on the packet, ‘NB - the word “waterproof” is not to be taken as meaning that this product is in any way resistant to the effects of wetness’ or some such, but I might get a free pack out of ’em. We’ll see. Got nothing more interesting to write just now , just a synopsis for a possible book two or three years down the line, while I wait to hear from America. Who was it who said being asked to write a synopsis of a book you haven’t written is like being asked to draw a map of a country you haven’t visited?
Jean complains about the lack of recipes attached to the menu quoted heretofore. All right, already. I’ll do recipes. Nag me.
© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.